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# A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce

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Manager
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01 Sep 2004, 00:51
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A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

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Manager
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2010, 04:09
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D it is..
However, the 1000SC states the answer as A...

But the OA is D.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 05:24
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States [highlight]reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump[/highlight] into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

SC 1000 says one answer and forums give varying answers. So I don't know what should be OA
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 05:40
saxenashobhit wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States [highlight]reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump[/highlight] into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump use perfect tense only when time sequence is required. In other cases use simple tense
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping -Amount of phosphate is correct.
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump Amount of phosphate is correct.
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dumpcorrect
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalitiesfragment

SC 1000 says one answer and forums give varying answers. So I don't know what should be OA

Please underline the text rather than highlighting.

The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 06:54
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Expert's post
The gist of the sentence boils down to the restriction the agreement imposed on future action rather than on past action. Obliviously the agreement can't ask those who exceeded the dumping limits prior to 1972, to recover the dumped material from the lakes. So any mention of past tense or past perfect for describing the dumping is null and void. Choices A and B will be incorrect for this reason.

Since it is an agreement that was mooted in 1972, we are required to use past tense to denote the main verb. So C and E which use the present tense verb reduces can be eliminated.

D for using the past tense reduce to expose the timing of the event, and the present tense for some thing the is currently in vogue and that which is going to continue in the future, is the preferred choice.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 06:57
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saxenashobhit wrote:
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States [highlight]reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump[/highlight] into the Great Lakes.
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

SC 1000 says one answer and forums give varying answers. So I don't know what should be OA

Hi Shobhit,

This is an OG12 Question, so you can find the OA and OE there and be guaranteed that it is right. The OA is D and my reasons are:

There are 2 actions occuring in the sentence:
1. An agreement reducing the Phosphate Amount
2. Muncipalities dumping wastes in the lakes.

As indicated by the date of the Agreement the first action occurs in Past and hence has the correct Past tense (Reduced)
The Second action is an eternal event Muncipalities have always and coninue to dump the waste irrespective of the quantities. Eternal Events are to be represented by Present Tense. The only option that correctly represents the 2 actions by the correct tense is Option D.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 07:09
gurpreetsingh wrote:
The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.

I disagree, Dumping wastes by the Muncipality is aneternal activity, and Present tenses should be used in case of depicting eternal actions.

Hence the Perfect Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 08:15
devashish wrote:
gurpreetsingh wrote:
The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.

I disagree, Dumping wastes by the Muncipality is aneternal activity, and Present tenses should be used in case of depicting eternal actions.

Hence the Perfect Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option.

no its not correct.

Suppose A is correct. It means the event 'municipalities had been allowed to dump ' occurred before the event
'A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates '.
=> the agreement the reduced the amount that was once allowed to dump???

had been signifies that the event- allowance of dump- occurred before the agreement. Thus you can not use past perfect. In the absence of simple past tense you may use present tense.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 12:24
gurpreetsingh wrote:
devashish wrote:
gurpreetsingh wrote:
The best option : reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump.
But since it is not given we may use present tense.

I disagree, Dumping wastes by the Muncipality is aneternal activity, and Present tenses should be used in case of depicting eternal actions.

Hence the Perfect Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option.

no its not correct.

Suppose A is correct. It means the event 'municipalities had been allowed to dump ' occurred before the event
'A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates '.
=> the agreement the reduced the amount that was once allowed to dump???

had been signifies that the event- allowance of dump- occurred before the agreement. Thus you can not use past perfect. In the absence of simple past tense you may use present tense.

I am sorry I meant the last sentence as:
Hence the Present Tense is the Best ( rather than Second Best) option

I completely agree with you that the Past Perfect tense here is Incorrect. However I do not understand how does that make Past Tense automatically correct. Why I feel Past is incorrect is because in Past Tense the sentence would be:
'A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities were allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.'

The above statement would be correct if the Muncipalities dumped Phosphates just once ( or a couple of times ) in the Past and would never do again in the future. But that is not the case, as Muncipalities were dumping and will continue to dump Phospahates ( irrespective of the amounts ).
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2010, 13:05
I use the equation approach..

We need a verb parallel to "agreement" will be "reduced."
among a, b and d - "amount of" is the correct idiom use. Which brings to A and D
Then past tense (D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2010, 23:22
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump in to the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump

(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping

(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump

(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump

(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
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Last edited by scheol79 on 25 Oct 2010, 09:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2010, 23:52
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I go with D.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
You can't reduce the amount already dumped.

(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
Use of 'Reduce' in the wrong tense.

(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2010, 01:18
(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
amount of 'singular noun'

(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping

(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
'reduces' wrong tense

(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
'are allowed' wrong tense

(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities
same as C

So I will go with B
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2010, 09:10
OA is D.

We don't know whether this agreement is still in effect or not. If not, we should write were allowed. If so, we should write are allowed.

Since there is no option with were allowed, we simply go with 'are allowed.'
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2010, 05:34
I have serious problem in understanding this problem, wording seems to be very OK though.
it's not logical saying that THEY WERE ALLOWED TO DUMP X AMOUNT
and then AN AGREEMENT REDUCED THAT AMOUNT?
SO past perfect makes sense, doesn't it?

any hero elaborate this for me? why my reasoning is flawed??? please
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2010, 17:22
There is no necessity to use past perfect.....and moreover the law is still in place...So A i wrong....
IMO D
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 03:27
Hi all,

I still did not get why D is the correct answer. If we rephrase D as follows:
reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump (today)

How could an agreement in 1972 reduce the new limit? It must have reduced the previous limit.

Moreover, I feel past perfect is right here because the dumping continued as per the previous limit till 1972, when the agreement came into action. So why not option A? :
reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump (before 1972, continued till the day of agreement)

TIA
Jaggy
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 10:49
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Expert's post
The bottom-line here is - Which is the correct usage- a) Had been allowed to dump or b) were allowed to dump or C) are allowed to dump.

To understand the concept better, let’s delve into some definitions.

A present tense is used for a current activity or a daily activity or a universal activity.

A past tense used for an activity that started in the past and “ended” in the past. “Ending” in the past is an essential ingredient of past tense. If it had not ended and if it is still continuing, then we can not use the past and we have to use present perfect.

A past perfect is required to be used for distinguishing between two past tense events. The basic requirements are that both the events should have started and “ended” in the past; secondly one of the events should have ended distinctly earlier than the other event.

Given this backdrop, let us analyze the given choices. Has the dumping ended on the date of the agreement in 1972? The dumping had ended neither before nor after the date of the agreement.

Since the ending element is absent in the context, use of either past perfect or past tense is inappropriate.

You can perfectly use a present perfect, which is what Choice C is doing but unfortunately that choice suffers other anomalies such as “reduces” and “phosphate amount”.

D has no such infringements and hence the right choice.

There was a remark that Choice E is a fragment. A fragment lacks a verb. But the choice has ‘reduces’ as the main verb. Hence it is not a fragment, although it is still not the correct answer for using the present tense “reduces”
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 12:45
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Hi Daagh,

Thank you for such a descriptive answer. +1 from me Now I get why D is correct. But I would like to present the case of past perfect tense mathematically here. Suppose, before 1972, the limit was value 100 and it was changed to value 50 by the agreement.
1) Rephrasing 'D' in question format: what is the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump? Obviously, the value 50.
2) Now rephrasing the question itself: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the value 50 to <don't know what value!>
But this is not logically correct. The value 50 was never changed. It was in fact the value 100 that was changed to 50.

Now consider Past Perfect tense:
1) Rephrasing 'A' in question format: What is the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump?(ended on the day of contract, supporting past perfect). Obviously, the value 100
2) Now rephrasing the question itself: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the value 100 to 50
which is exactly what happened.

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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 16:47
A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United
States reduced the amount of phosphates that
municipalities had been allowed to dump
into the
Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that munici-
palities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipali-
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities
have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that munici-
palities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for
dumping by municipalities

Can someone explain this question. I have a doubt about the ans.
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2010, 17:50
D
rejected C because of " reduces"
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Re: A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduce   [#permalink] 15 Dec 2010, 17:50

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